Duo drove in four of Cardinals' six runs against Pirates on Saturday
By Joe Harris
Special to MLB.com |
ST. LOUIS -- It was just the way general manager John Mozeliak drew it up in the offseason.
While passing on several high-profile bats during free agency, Mozeliak went all in on Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty. The young outfield duo helped reward Mozeliak's faith in the Cardinals' 6-4 win over the Pirates on Saturday.
Grichuk drove in three of the Cardinals' runs, including Piscotty twice. His two-out single in the eighth that scored Piscotty gave the Cardinals a lead.
"Two big at-bats, especially that two-out RBI. Just taking what they're giving him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Grichuk entered the game stuck in a 3-for-31 slump. He raised his average to .200 from .187 and now has 16 RBIs this season.
"A little deceptive when you look at his numbers, you get distracted by his average, but the guy's driving in runs," Matheny said. "He's been hitting balls hard."
Piscotty was a part of all three Cardinals rallies on Saturday. He walked and scored on Grichuk's two-run single in the first, hit his fifth home run just over the right-center-field wall in the third to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead and his one-out double started the rally in the eighth.
Piscotty's success started with a focused batting practice before the game.
"I just had a general feeling just watching the video of how their lefties like to attack righties," Piscotty said. "Just tried to stay with that approach, and it worked out well. I was able to get balls that I was expecting."
Piscotty has been the Cardinals' most consistent hitter through their first 31 games, hitting .303 with 21 RBIs. His 20 runs scored is second on the team behind Aledmys Diaz's 23.
"Just quality at-bats all the way through," Matheny said. "He's in a nice spot."
The hope is to get Grichuk back closer to his 2015 form, when he hit .276 with 17 homers and 47 RBIs in just 323 at-bats. Saturday's game could be the catalyst.
"Two huge hits," Piscotty said. "I think that's going to get him really rolling. That's big, especially against the Pirates."
Joe Harris is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.